Unheralded

JIM THIELMAN: Beer Here? Not Any More

The best vendors at the ballpark snapped out quips and nonsense, thick as mustard on a hot dog. They poured a beer, handed over a soft pretzel and spun out a story about a mother-in-law they didn’t have or a fish they never caught. Those nearby leaned in to listen. Vendors made fans part of the game, like foul balls …


Unheralded

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Total Eclipse Of The Moon

Those who stayed up late Sunday night were in for a treat. The first total lunar eclipse of the year was visible to people from the Americas, Europe and Africa. The Flower Moon, the May full moon, named as it coincides with the spring blooming season in America, was also a supermoon, making it the Super Flower Blood Moon of …


CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Teddy Roosevelt And The Surprising Roots Of The National Governors Association

We take annual conferences of the National Governors Association for granted, but nobody had ever thought of bringing America’s governors together until Theodore Roosevelt galloped onto the national stage in 1901, ascending to the presidency after the assassination of William McKinley in Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 14 of that year. It’s not hard to imagine Roosevelt, a strong Hamiltonian nationalist who essentially invented the modern presidency, calling the …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — The Trails That Led Us Here

My friend Jack McDonald received an award at the North Dakota Newspaper Association convention last Friday for his tireless legal defense of freedom of the press. Our freedom. Your freedom. We listened in the great ballroom, elbows on white tablecloths among the cake crumbs and carcasses of Chicken Cordon Bleu. In his speech, Jack pondered the “what if’s” in life. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Laundry Lament

My wife, Lillian, is an Anglophile. For at least as long as I’ve known her, she’s been fascinated by anything involving England or Great Britain, especially royalty, especially female royalty. Also British history. Our library is full of books about England. So a few summers ago, she took a dream trip, a three-week tour of England and the British Isles, …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Why We Don’t Trust Government

Chief Justice John Roberts’ characterization of the leaking of the draft decision on abortion as a “singular and egregious breach” of trust puts a fine point on the tenor of our times. In March, Senate hearings that confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the nation’s highest court in anticipation of shaping such decisions underscored the fact that, whatever the intentions of the …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Marian Crook Silbernagel In Her Own Words : A Mother’s Day Offering

In 2007, my mother, Marian Crook, wanted to write her memoir (expanding on what had been written in Slope Saga and taking her story on through her long and adventurous life), and she asked me to assist her. Although she had in the later years of her career in nursing certainly used a computer to chart for her patients at …

JEFF TIEDEMAN: Mom Was The Best

It’s been 10 years since we celebrated Mother’s Day with my Mom. She died less than a year later in what was at the time a shock but now what I probably view as a blessing. Mom was in relatively good health but suffered from some COPD and probably was a borderline asthmatic. She died in her own bed, just …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What Larry Woiwode Did

Why not? Why not scribble down some thoughts about Larry Woiwode. Nobody else seems to be doing that. He deserves better. Larry was one of those people who drifted in and out of my life. Our meetings were almost always by chance. The last was a couple of years ago in the parking lot at Menard’s in Bismarck. It delayed …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — The Dangers Of Settling For Truthiness

Systematic attacks on the truth, supercharged through social media, trolling and cancel culture, have Americans angry, frustrated and unsure as to where to turn for knowledge. It’s a crisis of historic proportions, but author Jonathan Rauch argues we already have in place a structure from which to repel these assaults of disinformation. He locates it within the global network of …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Another Wind Event In North Dakota

We know at Red Oak House we’ve had another “wind event” when the local tree service trucks begin to show up to deal with the fallout. In other news, a massive and gnarly tumbleweed blew into our front yard in the middle of Bismarck! Wonder where that came from? On the bright side, the National Weather Service says the drought …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Watergate: A Fresh Look At The Most Influential Political Event Of The Past Half Century

Growing up in the 1980s in a family of journalists, Garrett Graff’s sense of Watergate was shaped by the on-screen exploits of Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in “All the President’s Men,” in which they portray Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, respectively. But when the recent impeachment of Donald Trump prompted him to take a fresh look back at the Nixon administration, Graff stumbled …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Redcoats Are Coming! The Redcoats Are Coming!

Dang! Dang! Dang! When you’re old and retired, it’s hard to keep track of what day it is, and what the date is. Today was one of those nice Spring days when I hardly had a care in the world, and we kept busy, even a road trip to Dickinson, N.D., for supper and back, until just before bedtime Lillian …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Do Economic Sanctions Work? A Brief History

In 2014, Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded Crimea, a peninsula of southern Ukraine that juts into the Black Sea. The West grumbled and imposed economic sanctions, expelled Russia from the Group of Seven (G7) political and economic forum but chose not to go to war against Russia. Although the sanctions hurt the Russian economy, and no doubt impaired the lives of the 144 …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Another Not-So-Little Win For The Bad Lands

I’m sitting in my office on a clear, crisp, Saturday morning (I know it’s clear because the sun is shining in my eyes through my office window, and I know it’s cold because I went out looking for three or four days’ issues of the Bismarck Tribune in the snow, to no avail) reading a 17-page decision handed down by …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Blue Sky And Sunshine At Red Oak House

Friday, April 15, 2002: I was up at dawn to look out the windows here to check on the status of the historic blizzard of April 2022. My treat was a beautiful amber full moon setting in the west, which meant some blue sky sunshine today. So far no wind here. One neighbor left in his 4-wheel drive pickup for …

NICK HENNEN: Now I See —Only Love And Always Love

Mom had a rare brain disorder called PPA, and she was taken too soon for me. She died four years ago today. I don’t know how to feel about this day, but I want to somehow honor her. She was the most beautiful person (inside and out) that I have ever known. She radiated joy and taught me how to …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Day Three, April 2022 Blizzard: Lucinda Gets The Final Word

Dispatch from Red Oak House (April 14): I dug some snow, watched someone go by with a pickup, heard snowplows and pondered whether a trip to the market was advised. Canceled a plan to drive to Rhame tomorrow (postponed for another time). Did other work around the house. No paper or mail delivery. Filled the bird feeders again. Did some …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Day Two, April 2022 Blizzard

Dispatch from Red Oak House (April 13, 2022): Mostly I shoveled snow, trying to keep ahead of it. Spotted lots of birds, including a Sharp-Shinned Hawk flyby and some Turkey Vultures taking shelter in the neighborhood trees.  My siblings and relatives elsewhere in North Dakota were texting me photos of the snow at their houses. (Family in other parts of the …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Day One, April 2022 Blizzard

Dispatch from Red Oak House (April 12, 2022): I shovel the driveway and back patio four times. Jim sets up the indoor greenhouse in the dining room for the vegetable seedlings. I text back and forth with various family members across the country, including my uncle in Mississippi who is watching the same Weather Channel report from Bismarck as me. (In …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Yelling Isn’t Instruction; it’s Just Yelling

Who likes being yelled at? I’m not fond of it. Anyone who’s ever been to a youth sporting event has witnessed parents and coaches yelling at little kids. When is this OK?Never. Well, OK … if they’re standing in front of an oncoming car, you’re going to yell at them to save their life. But a coach yelling and screaming at a little …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — ‘Keep It Between The Ditches’

The blizzard has begun here at Red Oak House. On days like today, if indeed we were going to drive (much less leave the farmhouse), my Slope County Grandpa Andy (and my Mother, his daughter) would say, “Keep it between the ditches!” My Mother said this until her last days to her children when she was worried about us traveling. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — North Dakota Republicans Riding High (But Welcome Back, Potter, And So Long, Ricky)

I think I’ve gone to a political convention of some kind in almost every even-numbered year since 1972. That year, 50 years ago now, I came home from the Navy and went to my district Democratic-NPL convention, and someone said, “Hey. We’ve got a Vietnam veteran here today, let’s send him as a delegate to the State Convention.” That’s a …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — In With The New And The Old Still Works

In with the new and the old still works.  Got some spring cleaning done to boot (spiderwebs, dust, etc. removed). My daughter helped me with the techy stuff as well as the basics while we chatted. The new IT equipment works and it only took me three online chats with customer support and one phone call to the company who …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Early April Accomplishments

Planned some North Dakota Road Trips for camping and hiking. Took out some seasonal stuff from storage, chatted with neighbors and friends and daughter and others. Didn’t watch The Masters. Watched and listened to spring birds, filled bird feeders, laughed at squirrels and bunnies and spotted new spring growth here in North Dakota. Lastly, took out my hand saw and …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Why A Seat on The Supreme Court Matters

This is a bonus installment in a Governing series on the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, following the U.S. Senate’s historic confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson on April 7. The first four essays in the series examined “Myths of the U.S. Supreme Court,” “Why Supreme Court Nominations Sometimes Fail,” “Dangerous Trends on the Supreme Court” and “Life Tenure on the Supreme Court: …

JIM THIELMAN: How Robinson’s No. 42 Went From Insignificant To Iconic

Accolades will shower Jackie Robinson once again this April 15, the 75th anniversary of him scaling baseball’s racial wall. Every big leaguer since 2007 has worn Robinson’s No. 42 on April 15. It’s the only number retired by all 30 major league teams — the first retired by an entire sport. It held no significance for him. Robinson played when …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Spring 1997

This blog was posted originally on April 13, 2017, in Unheralded and reprinted in the Grand Forks Herald and The Forum of Fargo Moorhead, as our region was observing the 20th anniversary of the Red River Flood of 1997. During a massively destructive event, it was one small moment that has stayed with me. I still think about it from …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Go Play Outside: The South Dakota Edition Of My Road Trip With A Friend

In his 1989 book “The Lost Continent,” Bill Bryson wrote, “It’s an awful place (Wall, S.D.), one of the world’s worst tourist traps, but I loved it and I won’t have a word said against it.” I was born in western South Dakota, yet I have only one adult memory of visiting Wall, just a stop on a road trip with a friend …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Little Missouri Bridge: Let The People Decide?

The folks out in Billings County in the North Dakota Bad Lands might get a chance to vote this fall on whether they want their county commissioners to use their power of eminent domain to condemn some of their neighbor’s land to build a bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River and roads connecting it to state highways. Or …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — ‘Sivilizing’ Mark Twain: One Scholar’s Effort To Make Huck Finn Safe For School Again

“All modern American literature,” Ernest Hemingway once proclaimed, “comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.’” Despite such accolades, this masterwork from Twain — the pen name used by Samuel Clemens — has been slowly disappearing from American classrooms, a development primarily driven by the novel’s repeated use — 219 times in all — of that uniquely offensive term that …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Why Supreme Court Nominations Sometimes Fail

This is the fourth and final installment in a Governing series in a historical look at the U.S. Supreme Court to coincide with nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process, which continues this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Associate Justice Stephen Breyer seems likely to win confirmation this spring by the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — America The Beautiful

“As we write this, America is engaged in an all-hands-on-deck effort to defeat a deadly pandemic and tackle the climate crisis. Our president has laid out a vision and a plan that will re-power America with clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home and abroad, create millions of good-paying jobs and — importantly — conserve and restore the lands …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Life Tenure On The Supreme Court: Appointments and Disappointments

This is the third in a Governing series on a historical look at the Supreme Court to coincide with nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process, which continued this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. With hearings under way to fill an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, it may be useful to look back on the history of court appointments. “Appointments,” Thomas Jefferson said, “and disappointments.” Since 1789, 115 …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Dangerous Trends On The U.S. Supreme Court

This is second in a series in a historical look at the U.S. Supreme Court to coincide with nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process, which continues this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Three dangerous trends appear to be jeopardizing the independence and credibility of the third branch of the federal government. Court decisions are increasingly falling out along what appear to be purely partisan lines. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Vernal Equinox Road Trip To Western North Dakota Counties: A Visual Essay

A Spring road trip to southwestern North Dakota counties and the Little Missouri National Grasslands: a Visual Essay, in no particular order. My very first in-person shopping at Roxie’s Smoke Shack. Jim is a celebrity there. We had some laughs and bought some stuff. Then I walked across state Highway 12 to mail a Marmarth postcard to my brother with …